People ask several questions related to drinking water such as how do you know if your drinking water is contaminated or how long does it take to get sick from drinking contaminated water? And many more. Well, this article will tackle some of the critical questions that you often ask.
Factually, it is recommended that humans drink at least eight glasses of water a day, equivalent to two liters. This keeps your body refreshed, aids in digestion, improves blood circulation, and facilitates waste excretion.
But what happens when the water you drink isn’t clean?
Well, the complete opposite. Rather than help in facilitating bodily functions, it can carry all kinds of viruses. Worse, it could make you vulnerable to different diseases that bring long-term negative effects.
To prevent any of that from happening, watch out for these four tell-tale signs that you’re drinking contaminated water.
Signs that You are Drinking Contaminated Water
Cloudy or Murky Complexion
Purified water contains minerals that are invisible to the naked eye, giving it a crystal clear complexion. Therefore, if you observe that it has a slightly darker color, it’s probably not safe to drink.
In such cases, check the water source immediately. This could be a sign that your pipes need cleaning, or the filter requires changing. Do it as soon as possible to prevent any further contamination.
2. Oil on the Surface
As basic chemistry teaches us, oil and water don’t mix. So when liquid has any traces of grease, it rises to the surface, creating a thin layer. And even if you constantly mix it, the same thing happens.
Oil, by itself, may not be harmful to humans. But it’s an indication that some type of lube-like substance is present in your water source.
To be safe, we would recommend checking the pH levels. If it scores between 6.5 to 8.5 (or a neutral score of 7.0), then it’s okay to drink. Otherwise, it could contain elevated levels of acid or mercury, which is dangerous for your body.
3. Metallic Taste and Smell
Signs of contamination can’t just be seen, but also smelled and tasted. If you notice a metallic odor or flavor, it means there is too much iron present. This is often the case in areas that still obtain their drinking water from a deep well.
The simplest solution for this is to use a whole house iron water filter designed specifically for wells. It attracts any ferrous particles, converting them to a soluble state. In the process, the filter acts as an oxidizing agent. It strains any potentially dangerous particles from entering your house’s water supply, and ultimately your body.
These can be quite expensive, yet they play an important part in preserving the quality of drinking water at home.
4. Chlorine Scent
Chlorine is typically found in swimming pools and water treatment facilities. It’s mainly used to eradicate any harmful bacteria.
However, ingesting liquid that’s filled with too much of this substance can likewise be unhealthy. It often causes intestinal distress or other health-related issues.
The most telling sign of chlorine is its unpleasant smell. If you happen to notice it, call your maintenance provider immediately to report this problem.
Frequently asked Questions
How do you know if your drinking water is contaminated?
As previously stated, our senses are a valuable tool when looking for contaminants in drinking water. In most cases, you will feel an ordinary smell or test when you drink unclean water.
Factually, water that is safe to drink should ideally be clear with no odor or funny taste. If your tap water tastes metallic, smells fishy, or comes out cloudy, it could signal the presence of unsafe contaminants. Therefore, you should immediately avoid that water and treat it first before using it.
How long does it take to get sick from drinking contaminated water?
It depends on you your metabolic rate and your body’s defense mechanism. Although, anyone who has been drinking from a contaminated source can experience vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, and mild fever between 30 minutes or after 2 hours or four days.
Some may feel ill three to four days after eating or drinking from a contaminated source, but it’s not uncommon for a person to feel ill on day one or even day ten.
What are the symptoms of drinking bacteria water?
As previously stated, contaminated water imposes you to health hisks. The common symptoms you should expect include diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, fatigue, and even death sometimes.
Remember that infants, elderly people, children, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick or die from disease-causing microorganisms in drinking.
What disease can you get from drinking unclean water?
The common disease is typhoid fever as it spread through contaminated food, unsafe water, and poor sanitation, and it is highly contagious.
What happens if you drink a little bit of contaminated water?
Drinking contaminated water is related to health risks, especially diarrhea is the most commonly recognized outcome related to contaminated drinking water but for some, more serious health problems may occur, such as kidney failure or chronic health effects, including heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes
What is the treatment for drinking contaminated water?
The most common means is disinfection. In that, after the water has been filtered, water treatment plants may add one or more chemical disinfectants such as chlorine, chloramine, or chlorine dioxide to kill any remaining parasites, bacteria, or viruses. Even at home, you can use chlorine to treat your water before drinking or using it.
How do you test for bacteria in the water?
In most cases, you can carry our membrane filtration: Membrane-based tests are the most quantitatively accurate for testing bacteria in water.
In general, a 100 mL water sample is forced or vacuumed through a small, round filter paper (the membrane) using a little hand pump. All the bacteria in the sample are caught on the filter as the water passes through. Just simple like that. You can do this with your tap water to filter and remove most of the visible bacteria in the water.
Can contaminated water cause sore throat?
Yes, contaminated water can cause sore throat. Actually, oropharyngeal tularemia is caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with F. tularensis; the incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days (2,3).
Symptoms include sore throat, mouth ulcers, tonsillitis, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Can contaminated water make you sick?
Yes, this is because the presence of contaminants in water can lead to adverse health effects, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders.
Can drinking contaminated water cause UTI?
Coli are harmless and even help keep your digestive tract healthy. But some strains can cause diarrhea if you eat contaminated food or drink fouled water.
Based on research, many of us associate E. coli with food poisoning, you can also get pneumonia and urinary tract infections from different types of the bacteria
Can you get sick from drinking old bottled water?
The fact is that drinking old bottled water is highly related to health risks as it may make you ill.
However, even smelly bottles are likely just encrusted with saliva, mouth bacteria, or even some mildew or mold, and there’s likely nothing to worry about.
Water is an essential component of human life, and its importance cannot be overstated. Which makes it all the more crucial to verify its quality.
Before ingesting anything, check for these four signs of contamination we discussed. If it is clear, free of unpleasant smells or tastes, and doesn’t contain any residue, then it’s most likely safe to drink.